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Major Transformation of Seoul World Cup Stadium into `Shopping Heaven`

Major Transformation of Seoul World Cup Stadium into `Shopping Heaven`

Posted May. 21, 2003 21:45,   


On the morning of May 20 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, the area was bustling even though no sporting events were being held. There were many lines of trucks carrying full loads of electronic products, beverages, food and much more.

The 1st and 2nd floors previously used as offices and storage spaces currently display over 40,000 various types of products. The side exit leads to a multiplex movie theater.

The World Cup Stadium was the heart of football action in June of last year. It transformed into a shopping mall complex with a sports theme on May 23. This will be the first `World Cup Mall` in the world, furnished with discount stores, movie theaters, and fitness centers within the soccer field stadium.

The `World Cup Mall` with a total size of 25,000 pyeong (1 pyeong=3.3m2) is the largest shopping mall in the northwest region of Seoul with young adults and their families as target shoppers to enjoy shopping, movies, dining and sporting activities while walking around under the 1st and 2nd spectator floors.

The mall includes a convenient transportation system connecting subway line #6, over 2,500 parking spaces, the park within the stadium as well as 5 nearby parks (Peace, Warmth, Warm Han River, Sky and Sunset).

Discount stores and the movie theater complex will be on the 1st and 2nd floors. There are over 100 clothing outlets in the 2nd floor hallway. Moreover, convenient facilities such as food court, drug store, and hospital will be included along with fast food restaurants including Starbucks, Lotteria, Pizza Hut, including others. A wedding hall with 450 seats and reception hall with 2,000 seats already opened at the beginning of May.

Carrefour, a French discount store, is opening a `World Cup Mall` on the east side of the 1st and 2nd floors to occupy about 3,100 pyeong (1 pyeong=3.3m2). Carrefour explained that they have set their standard to match the needs of Korean customers who want discounts in a department store atmosphere.

They used wood flooring in the daily living goods corner, flooring with circles in primary colors in the children`s corner and very shiny flooring in the food corner. Display cases also have been lowered to about 1.4 ~ 2 meters to keep them at eye level with Koreans. The store also plans to provide a free fingerprint recognition service to prevent children from getting lost in the store.

In order to target foreign customers, they have prepared a Korean Product Gift Corner, a cashier line only for foreigners and an imported fresh food corner.

“Staffs from headquarters told us that the mall is the most outstanding discount store in Asia. The store has been planned with expertise on Korean-style discount stores learned in the last 7 years since their advancement into Korea,” stated Bong Jin Lee, chief manager of the World Cup Mall.

CGV Sangam 10, a multiplex movie complex with 10 theaters and 1,800 seats, will open on May 23 with such facilities as `Gold Class,` in which the seats are just like first class seats in an airplane. They have strengthened the soundproof system and sound absorption system in order to prevent noise from the stadium. People can view around 20 movies including `Finding Nemo`, `Tube`, `Phone Booth`, for free (first come first serve) until May 23.

Six swimming pools all 25 meters wide, with children`s pools and a squash center will open in this coming August. There will also be a 1,000 pyeong sauna, with adjoining facilities, fomenting rooms and a children`s room.

Carrefour, at the World Cup Mall, will also have a 70-pyeong game and computer store along with a sporting goods store at around 210 pyeong.

Yong Park Hee-Kyung Kim parky@donga.com susanna@donga.com